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Frequently Asked Questions


Don’t see your question listed here? Send us an email, and we’ll get back to you.


Yes, of course! If you are traveling solo, we will match you up with a roommate. Many friendships have been formed at Kelea.

Can I bring my own surfboard?

We provide all surf equipment, including boards. However, if you are more comfortable with your own board, please bring it along. Note: Most airlines charge extra for surfboards; check with your carrier about their policy. If you are taking the Sansa flight to Tambor, Costa Rica, the airline only accepts short boards on a space-available basis, so you are taking a chance that it won’t be allowed on your flight.

What should I pack?

Here are some suggestions: a positive attitude, several swim suits, sunscreen, comfortable athletic shoes or all terrain sandals, hiking and running shorts, hat for sun protection, sandals, light comfy pajamas, sundress, personal toiletries. Kelea provides all surf equipment, rashguards, yoga mats, beach towels, spa shampoo, conditioner, and body wash for your use during your retreat. If you are traveling to Costa Rica, please note that Sansa and Nature Airlines only allow 25 lbs. of luggage per passenger.

I’m interested in joining you in Hawaii, but I’m concerned that the waves are too big on the North Shore.

First, we’d love to see you in HI! The big wave season on Hawaii’s North Shore is during the winter months of December and January. We run our retreats just prior to (October/November) and just after (late February, March, April) the big wave season. All of the breaks we surf on are suitable for beginners.

What if I’ve never surfed before?

No problem! We love introducing newbies to surfing. At Kelea, we are committed to providing a safe, encouraging, and supportive learning environment for beginners. We'll start with the basics and you'll be riding waves by the end of the week. Learn more about our approach to surfing instruction here. 

Should I rent my own car?

If you’re joining us in Hawaii and you’d like to do some sightseeing on the island or check out the nightlife in Waikiki, we recommend you rent your own car. Email us and we can recommend a few reliable companies.

DO I need a passport?

If you’re traveling to Costa Rica, yes, you need a current passport that is valid for at least 6 months past your travel date. No visa is necessary for US citizens. If you’re traveling to Hawaii, no passport is needed.

Is there an age minimum?

Yes, guests must be 18 years or older to attend Kelea. If you’re interested in learning more about our family and private group retreats contact us to make arrangements.

What is the weather like?

Costa Rica has two seasons: rainy season from May through October, and dry season from November through April. Average temperatures are 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) at night and over 86 degrees F (30 degrees C) during the day. In Hawaii, Kelea operates during February, March and April due to the wave cycles. In winter, the waves on the north shore of Oahu are for experts only, and in the summer, the ocean is much too flat to surf. In the springtime, the waves are perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers.

What is the average water temperature? Do I need to bring a wetsuit?

It’s warm and inviting, so no wet suit is necessary! In Costa Rica, the average water temperature is 80 degrees F. Kelea provides you with a rashguard for the week, but feel free to bring your own. In Hawaii, the water is warm, but the breeze can sometimes get chilly. Wetsuits aren’t needed at any of our locations, though.

Is it safe to travel to Costa Rica alone?

Yes. Costa Rica is considered the safest country in Central America. However, as with traveling anywhere new, you should take precautions against theft. Don’t flash money or valuables around. Don’t leave money or valuables on the seat of your rental car, and utilize the locked safe in your room.

Don’t see your question listed here? Send us an email, and we’ll get back to you.